09
Dec
nexusae0_app_thumb

The Google Play Store, as always, was abuzz with new apps last month. More than just new apps, though, the Play Store gained plenty of well-crafted, quality apps. The kind that have spurred the market's recent growth spurt, and which allow users to discover functionalities they never knew they needed. As always, we've sifted through all last month's new apps and selected our top five picks – a kind of short list for those looking to get the most out of their device with awesome apps.

08
Dec
googlenowtiny

I hope you like Google Now, because it looks like this product is here to stay for a long time. As we speak, Chrome developers are working on bringing Popular Science's Innovation of the Year to the desktop, instead of keeping it trapped just on your phone or tablet. As it turns out, a "skeleton" framework is already in place for the search product to move in.

Google's not being shy about the existence of this product, but also isn't in a hurry to announce it, either:

Google confirmed that it's working on the project, but stopped short of committing to it.

07
Dec
Steve_Jobs_with_an_iPhone
Last Updated: December 9th, 2012

Get on the edge of your seats, everybody - it's patent time again. Today, the USPTO handed down what's called a preliminary invalidation finding on a rather infamous Apple software patent regarding touchscreen heuristics. This patent was known as the "Steve Jobs patent," as its first listed author is the late Apple cofounder (let's keep the Jobs insults to a minimum in the comments, please). This comes after the preliminary invalidation of Apple's also-infamous "rubber-banding" patent back in October.

07
Dec
unnamed
Last Updated: December 9th, 2012

Twenty years ago you had to pump quarters into an arcade machine to enjoy the punishing shooter known as Raiden. The game was so successful that multiple sequels followed. Now you can play four Raiden arcade games on your mobile device for a one-time fee. This is a retro gaming experience that tries to preserve the feel of the original game, and still make it work on a touch screen. So is Raiden still awesome?

07
Dec
nexusae0_1_thumb66
Last Updated: December 9th, 2012

There's a reason that the Nexus 4 has been sold out almost since it hit the Play Store: for custom ROM enthusiasts, buying anything else is a crapshoot. Assuming that the bootloader is unlocked (or can be,) you've just got to hope there's enough adoption among ROM developers to ensure a steady stream of builds. Owners of T-Mobile's former flagship, the HTC Amaze 4G, have had relatively good options in this area, and they just got a little better: the CyanogenMod team has released official nightly builds of CM10.

07
Dec
musetiny
Last Updated: December 13th, 2012

Hi, everyone. I'd like to introduce you to the Samsung Muse. This is a music player with no screen and a mere 4GB of storage that requires a phone with music on it in order to sync. It costs $50 and is going on sale in the U.S. soon. Why is this handy little thingy going to be made available here? Because screw you, that's why.

2012-12-07_17h07_15

'What is this device?' you ask?

07
Dec
taskertiny
Last Updated: December 9th, 2012

A few days ago, we were treated to a lovely look at what Tasker, the highly-customizable Android automation app, could look like if it got a nice facelift. Unfortunately, this was done by the Android team and was not representative of any real work being done by the developer. As it turns out, though, the developer behind said application is working on a holo conversion. There are quite a few obstacles to deal with in the meantime:

I started working on a holo conversion about a week ago coincidentally, with half the goal being use of the holo conventions and half replacing under-the-hood deprecated APIs for dialogs etc.

07
Dec
stardefenders

Many moons ago - way back in March - we covered a Space Invaders-type game called Star Defender 3. It looks like space didn't stay safe for very long and now it needs to be defended again, because Awem Studio just released the sequel: Star Defender 4. And if you thought three was crazy - wait until you see all the action packed into four. It's nutty.

Crazy, right?

07
Dec
unnamed (1)

Chris Lacy, developer of the gorgeous, widely lauded Tweet Lanes, has finally brought his latest creation to the Play Store – Action Launcher.

As the name would suggest, Action Launcher is a custom launcher with an emphasis on its ever-present action bar. The action bar allows users to quickly open a side-panel app drawer which, in Lacy's words, "aims to allow you to load any app in one second from your home screen." The bar also features Search and Play Store shortcuts, along with an action overflow.

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